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A Self-Immolator's Last Note Received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy

Picture of Rikyo
Dharamsala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said they received a note left by Rikyo, a mother of three who died after setting herself on fire in May.

The handwritten note in Tibetan, calls for unification of Tibetans, preservation of Tibetan culture and language, and return of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.

The note reads, “Prayers for world peace and happiness. To ensure His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet. Stop slaughtering and trading of animals. Do not steal. Speak Tibetan. Do not fight.”

Rikyo burned herself on May 30 and died at the scene in front of Jonang Dzamthang monastery in Barma township of Zamthang county, Ngaba Prefecture in eastern Tibet (Chinese: Aba Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province).

Rikyo, a mother of three, is believed to have been 33 years old. She was a neighbor of the three young men who had self-immolated earlier this year in February and April. Reports say January's killing of a young man in Dzamthang by security forces may have been one of the catalysts for these self-immolations.

According to exile sources, the Tibetan areas of Sichuan province had been seething from decades of abuse and repression. Rikyo’s self-immolation came three days after the twin self-immolations that took place in Lhasa.

49 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since February 2009 calling for return of the Tibetan leader Dalai Lama and greater freedom for Tibetans.

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